reviews

Mini Reviews of Comics and Graphic Novels I’ve Read

This past year I have been picking up a few more comics and graphic novels. While I don’t feel like writing big reviews on these I do want to show what I have read for them and some of my thoughts. Collecting them in one big post seemed like a great idea.

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Title: Fables by Bill Willingham
Tags: Adult / Graphic Novel / Fables / Fairytale Retellings / Snow White / The Wolf / Red Riding Hood / Beauty and the Beast / Prince Charming / Baba Yaga / Arabian Fairytales / Sinbad

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Fables is an interesting adult graphic novel series that focuses on various different fairytale characters that had to leave their home behind when the adversary invaded it. They came to our world and have been trying to survive ever since. Sometimes they still struggle with the adversary, other times they struggle with one another.

I was able to read the first four deluxe editions from the library and then volume 6 and 7 through a friend which means I read up to Fables 47. It is a collection of various small stories. Some are the back stories to some of these fables, others are attached to a bigger overall plot line. I have to say that I truly prefer to read the stories that are connected to the overall plot line. Especially the deluxe edtion 4 I struggled with as there were a lot of short not meaningfull ones to the overall plot. It felt very messy.

Even so I am quite taken by the idea of how some of these familiar figures to us have been interpreted. Prince Charming for instance isn’t quite so charming once you marry him. Beauty and Beast have a lot of issues to work through and Snow White isn’t quite as sweet as we imagined her to be. I enjoyed that. They became real characters instead of the stereotypes we often see them as.

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Title: Cutie B Volume 1 by Richard Marazano
Tags: Young Adult / Contemporary

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I was originally drawn to this one in the library because of the art. But honestly that is all it has going for it. Cutie-B is about a girl whose nickname is Cutie-B. She just moved to the area and is the daughter to a well known model. Even though this is a first volume it felt like we were just randomly thrown in. Our main character is honestly not all that likeable, and what even is wrong with her dad? He got her date drunk, ugh. I am for sure not picking up the next volume.

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Title: Enola and the Fable Animals by Joris Chamblain
Tags: Middle Grade / Fables / Fable Animals / Mythical Animals / Gargoyles

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Enola and the Fable Animals is a very cute middle grade fantasy comic. Enola is a special kind of vet. She is specialized in fable animals. Just that premise was alone to capture me. I love the idea. I would have never thought of that and I can’t wait to see in later volumes what Enola will meet.

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Title: The Legendaries by Patrick Sobral
Tags: Middle Grade / Young Adult / Fantasy / Heroes / Shapeshifting / Swordfighter / Sorcerer / Humor

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The Legendaries are as their name suggests legendary. The five of them represented important things like chivalry, intelligence, braveness and so on. But their last battle goes wrong and a spell has left them all as…children. Not just them, but ever adult! Fast forward a few years and the previous leader of the Legendaries has found a way to reverse the spell, he says. But to be able to reverse it he needs to get the band back together. And that is easier said than done.

I find this such an interesting concept to be honest. The drawing style is very focused towards middle grade but I can’t help but shake the feeling that it might turn quite a bit darker as the series will continue. There is also a spin-off series I saw, with their adult selves.  This first volume isn’t perfect. It is flawed. It is clearly an introduction to everything. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying it or laughing out loud at moments.

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 Title: Lou! by Julien Neel
Tags: Young Adult / Contemporary / Short Comics / Coming of Age / Humor

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This series. I can’t even do a whole series rating. There are about 7 volumes (there doesn’t seem to be more coming) all focusing on Lou and her mother, a single parent. The first volume starts with Lou being at the start of her teens with a crush on a boy while her mother is working on writing her book. There was so much fun and humor in these books. The stories are told through 1 to 3 page comics and follow a certain theme like Summer or crushes. Both are just finding their way in the world. We slowly see Lou grow up. I loved and rated the first four volumes 4 stars. But then it took a turn.

Volume 5 felt moody. The humor seemed off. But it can happen. Volume 6 however made no sense whatsoever. A lot of time was suddenly skipped. Lou was in college. There was some weird sci-fi elements. Nothing was explained. Then volume 7 turns out to be the prequel to volume 6. And still very little was explained. The sci-fi elements were suddenly gone again too. No, the last two volumes made no sense and took the series in a weird and different turn. So I recommend just reading the first 5 volumes if you want to read these.

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Title: The Little Prince by Guillaume Dorison
Tags: Young Adult / Inspired by The Little Prince / Fantasy / Mythical Creatures

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The title of this series will probably have already clued you in. This comic/graphic novel is inspired by the novel The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I haven’t read The Little Prince so I glanced through some of the reviews before reading. Apparently the personality and a lot of other things were rather different from the original story and it is considered more of a loose interpretation. I figured that was fine because these covers really drew me in.

It has such an interesting idea and such lovely different worlds. But that is where a lot of it ends. I miss so much deepening towards the actual story and the characters. The Little Prince is such a stereotypical good guy that he almost has no personality. He is so bland. Thankfully the fox is a bit sarcastic here and there.  We also got thrown in without any explanation as to how The Little Prince came to chase around the snake. There was one panel about that in the second volume but nothing more.

I read the first two volumes but I am unlikely to read on. I can’t see the other volumes stepping away from the specific formula these two posessed or any deepening, and I know it would annoy me after a while.

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Title: Wika by Thomas Day
Tags: Adult / Fairies / Steampunk /
Trigger Warnings:  Incest / Implied Rape / Nudeness

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Wika focuses on the daughter of Titania and Count Grimm. With both her parents killed by Oberon she was hidden as a baby. Many years later she returns to the public eye of the main city and unavoidably draws the attention of Oberon.

These covers just drew me in right from the start. The art is intrigate and detailed. For the most part this is also the case inside. If you are very critical I’d say some panels could have used a bit more work but mostly it is quite a sight to see.

I also enjoyed the story and our characters. Wika is used to having to stick up for herself, her tattoes changing to her mood. Even in some tense moments she tries to find some relief by humor. There is a lot of interesting things about the world though I did find there were some tiny holes here and there. Even so this story leaves so much to discover I am sad to say that this story is originally only planned to be four volumes.

I am sorry that there aren’t anymore volumes available at the moment for me to read beyond the first two.

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 Title: Tablet of Destinies (Lady Mechanika 2) by Joe Benitez
Tags: Adult / Steampunk / Sci-Fi / Legends / Mythology / Africa

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Lady Mechanika is an interesting graphic novel with a very appealing style of art and choice of color to go with its steampunk elements. As her name suggest, Lady Mechanika is part mechanical. I wasn’t able to find the first volume through the library so I am not sure how much of her origin was shared there. Even so these volumes (divided into little issues or a combined collection)  are little stories on their own and easy to read without having read its predecessors.

I also was able to read volume four for review and you can find that review here. I was a bit more critical of that one.

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Title:  Strange University (Freaks School 1) by Florent Maudoux
Tags: Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Werewolves / Super Powers / Heroes
Trigger Warnings: Nudeness

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Freaks School is a hard to get into university where those with special powers (or incredibly well trained) are trained to become heroes. Heroes are big in this world. We follow our main character and her two team partners as they try to survive this competitve school.

Unfortunately the world building is a bit lacking. I have very little idea of setting or where the school comes from or how important heroes are in society. There are also apparently demons. I don’t have a grasp on this world at all. Even so the concept of this series is incredibly interesting. If only it could come away from the stereotypical main character who of course has a secret in her past that we get to know at the end of this volume or the hot ex-boyfriend or the evil roommate. There is some diversity in the form of a genderfluid side character and our main character is Chinese.

I might be interested in reading on with this if the second volume is translated or if I can find it.

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Title: Robocity (Heartlands 1) by Marlon Teunissen
Tags:  Sci-Fi / Robots / Artificial Intelligence / Steampunk

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Robocity is a graphic novel by Dutch artist Marlon Teunissen. In this graphic novel we meet Sophie, a mechanic, who gets stranded in the desert with her bike. The nearest city is Robocity, a city ruled and inhabitated by older robots on their older days. A city that does not allow humans to come inside… Sophie of course finds a way which jumpstarts quite a bit of trouble.

This is a very cute story that is limited to this city in world building but everything was very clear, and additional world building wasn’t quite nessecary to understand this short story. I quite enjoyed the art. And there is just much more to find out in this world it is set in. But if I didn’t ever read one with this series that would be fine too as this story ends quite nicely.

15 thoughts on “Mini Reviews of Comics and Graphic Novels I’ve Read

  1. Wow you found some good stuff. There are so many good comics and graphic novels out there now, it’s amazing. I love the idea of Fables and have hear they’re really good, I need to pick that series up. And Lady Mechanika looks awesome because steampunk.

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  2. I don’t really read many graphic novels but most of these sound amazing!! I really like how the Wika ones look?! So gorgeous. 😍 And that’s so weird about Lou! ones….woah. I read the Death Note magnas a few years ago and kind of felt the same way. Like the first 6 were great but after that I kind of wished they’d ended earlier. 🙊

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  3. I love that you wrote mini-reviews for these! I used to read a lot more graphic novels/comics, but I realized that writing reviews for them were a challenge. Now I try to write a single review for a whole series once I’m done. But, as you can imagine, the challenge with this is remembering all the relevant details… C’est la vie! The life of a blogger is not without it’s challenges. 😉

    How do you decide what graphic novels/comics to pick up from the library, typically? I have Lady Mechanicka, Fable and Enola on my TBR already! It makes me happy to see we share some tastes here. I look forward to reading more of these in the future.

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    1. It really is challenging to write reviews for them. Since I can’t get whole series from the library (and buying it will make my wallet cry) I try and do these kinds. Haha and yes it is hard to write series reviews, especially with such long comics.

      We don’t have a big or well known collection. Most is really geared towards children. So I browse every now and then and pick out art I find interesting. Or if I see a Dutch reviewer mentiont a translated one I search if my library has it (or one of the joined libraries) so I can reserve it.

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      1. It’s a shame that your library collection isn’t that large- but based on what I’ve seen in this post, you have a ton of variety available to you! That’s something, at least. Perhaps the collection will grow over the next few years? Graphic novels are becoming really big around the globe — I hope you can find the sorts of comics and graphic novels you want to be reading more easily in the future!

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  4. Lady Mechanika en Freaks School leende ik al een keer bij onze bibliotheek. Jammer genoeg hebben zij slechts één deel van Fables en dan nog ergens halverwege de reeks. Een klein beetje bizar dat ze enkel dat boek hebben aangekocht. Enola lijkt me wel fijn om te lezen dus binnenkort misschien toch maar eens naar de bib om te zien of ze die in hun aanbod hebben. Die vosjes-bookmarks zijn super schattig.

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